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Afro-Cuban Dance and Drum Workshop

Join us for an Afro-Cuban Drum & Dance Workshop
Saturday, September 14, 2013
9:30 am – 4:30 pm
Hartwell Hall, Rose L. Strasser Studio

Experience a full day of Afro-Cuban intensive dance and percussion studies led by world-class artists from Toronto and the Greater Rochester area. The event is free and open to Brockport students, faculty and staff and the community, with financial support from The College at Brockport Promoting Excellence in Diversity Grant. Register for the workshop.

Afro-Cuban Dance

About the Workshop

Classes will focus on African traditions that were maintained on the island of Cuba. Participants will learn about many of the rich Afro-Cuban traditions ranging from Yoruba, Arara, Carabali and Rumba the national music and dance of Cuba. Dance classes will be accompanied by live music. And drums are available for those that register in advance. All levels of musicians and dancers are welcome to experience this full day of extraordinary Afro-Cuban music and dance.

Classes taught by Melissa Noventa (Toronto, CA), Bata Con Pies (Rochester, NY) and Khalid Saleem (The College at Brockport)

Register for the workshop.

For more information, contact Oluyinka Akinjiola at


9:30 - 10 am                 Registration and Check-In, Hartwell Hall
10 - 11:30 am              Afro-Cuban Percussion, Taught by Bata Con Pies/Khalid Saleem
11:45 am - 1:15 pm    Afro-Cuban Dance, Taught by Melissa Noventa
LUNCH BREAK       On your own
 1:45 - 3:15 pm               Afro-Cuban Percussion, Taught by Bata Con Pies/Khalid Saleem
 3:20 - 5 pm                     Afro-Cuban Dance, Taught by Melissa Noventa

About the Instructors

Bata Con Pies African Caribbean Drum Ensemble
Bata con Pies is a high energy dance and drum ensemble that promotes the concept of cultural diversity. The name bata con pies, which translates to drums with feet, refers to the group's use of bata drums. Batas are a family of sacred double-headed drums from the Yoruba culture in present day Nigeria. Ramon "Sunshine" Perez is the director and founder of the group. The group performs traditional music from Africa, Brazil, Cuba, Haiti, and Puerto Rico.

Melissa Noventa, BFA, MA (York University)
Artistic director of Ilédè Afo-Cuban Drumming and Dance and multidisciplinary artist originally from Guelph, Ontario. While her artistic activities include music, visual art, and writing, her central craft is dance with over twenty-seven years of experience.  Her training, performing, and teaching includes ballet (R.A.D.), tap (C.D.T.A.), jazz (C.D.T.A.), hip hop, contemporary, West African, Latin and Afro-Caribbean dance forms. Since moving to Toronto in 2001, Melissa has had the privilege of studying, and performing alongside a formidable list of distinguished artists from Canada and abroad. Her dance credits include: The Wind in the Leaves Collective, Jasmyn Fyffe Dance, The Dance Migration, IjoVudu West African Dance Co., Iré Omó Afro-Cuban Drum and Dance Ensemble, Newton Moraes Dance Theatre, Samba Squad, Osunlade and the Yoruba Records Orchestra, Ilu Aña (Motnréal), Los Rumberos de Cuba (Havana Cuba), Los Muñequitos de Matanzas (Matanzas, Cuba), Ocha Reo (Cienfuegos, Cuba), Kokoyé (Santiago deCuba), CUTUMBA (Santiago de Cuba), and Milagros Medina (Havana/Santo Domingo). Currently, Melissa is teaching weekly ballet, jazz and Cuban technique at the Gotta Dance Inc. studio  while directing Ilédè, Afro-Cuban Drum  and Dance Ensemble. 

Khalid Saleem
Percussionist, musician; former musical director for the African American Dance Ensemble; lived, worked, and studied in the Ivory Coast;worked/studied with Rose Marie Guiraud, Babatunde Olatunji of Nigeria, Ladji Camara of Guinea (West Africa), Titos Sampa of Zaire, and Les Ballet Africains, the National Dance Company of Guinea; on faculty in the Dance Department at The College at Brockport, State University of New York, since 1994; Khalid has been very active during The College at Brockport's, annual diversity conference invited to present African percussion workshops in Salvador, Brazil in November 2008; Khalid's latest International cultural exchange travel, have taken him to Haiti in January 2011, traveling with SUNY Oswego's Psychology Department, in coping with stress and trauma, as a consultant, teacher and musician; He performed at the August, 2011 National Black Theater Festival in Winston Salem, NC; Sankofa, The African Dance and Drum Ensemble at The College at Brockport, (Khalid Saleem, Music Director) are the recipients of The Greater Rochester Cultural Arts, recognition Award, November, 2011; Khalid also participated in Konkoran's, 2011 annual conference in Washington DC, where Chuck Davis and Melvin Deale was being honored; ADF faculty since 1985. 


The workshop will be hosted in the Department of Dance in Hartwell Hall.

Directions to Brockport

Map of Campus

Event Sponsors

  • Diversity Committee at The College at Brockport
  • Sankofa African Dance and Music Ensemble
  • Departments of African and African-American Studies, Anthropology, Dance, Modern Languages and Cultures, and Theatre and Music Studies


Last Updated 9/11/13